We still have 10 days to go, but we can’t wait any longer for the 2016 Oscars, the 88th Oscars, and each of us may already have prepared the top candidates in each category of the awards. While you wait for the upcoming ceremony on February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, we have put together a fascinating list of ‘First Oscar’ records since 1929. Let’s get nostalgic and rummage through the past to find out who were the first lucky winners of the Oscars representing their category, gender, skin color and country. Happy scrolling!
1. The First Woman to win Best Picture
Julia Phillips: Phillips was the first female producer to win an Oscar in 1973 for her film The Sting. Other prominent films of hers are Taxi Driver & Close Encounters of the Third Kind. She is also the author of You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again, the bestseller based on her years as a Hollywood producer.
2. The First Woman to win Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow: The American director, producer and author with many years of experience working with prominent films was the first woman to win the prize for best director in 2009 with her war film The Hurt Locker.
3. The First Fantasy Film to win Best Picture
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: The fantasy film series The Lord of the Rings, based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, was one of the greatest critical and commercial successes of all time. The third film, The Return of the King, was the first fantasy film to win Best Picture.
4. The First X-Rated Film to win Best Picture
Midnight Cowboy: With Dustin Hoffman as the leading actor, the 1969 drama film Midnight Cowboy was the first and (to date) only X-rated film to win the Best Picture. Later the rating was changed to R. The film also won two other Oscars: Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
5. The First Woman to win Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
More On The Oscars: 25 Interesting Oscar Records
Brenda Chapman: Chapman, an animation artist who directed The Prince of Egypt, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film for her co-direction of the Disney Pixar film Brave, which was shot in 2012. She was also the first woman to direct an animated film for a major studio like DreamWorks Animation.
6. The First Nordic Actress to win Best Actress
Ingrid Bergman: Casablanca’s Ilsa Lund, “the ideal of American femininity”, “the most completely conscientious actress”, and the fourth-greatest female screen legend of classical American cinema was the first Nordic – and Swedish – actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Gaslight in 1944.
7. The First Actress to get 10 nominations for Best Actress
Bette Davis: One of the greatest actresses in the history of Hollywood was the first actress to receive 10 nominations for Best Actress. Of the 10 nominations, she won 2 Oscars. Her other achievements include becoming the first woman to receive the lifetime achievement award from the AFI, the American Film Institute, and the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In the AFI list of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema, she ranks second after Katharine Hepburn.
8. The First Actress to win an Oscar performing in American Sign Language
Marlee Matlin: deaf since 18 months of age, Matlin won the 1986 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role in the film Children of a Lesser God. She was 21 years old when she won the award.
9. The First Black Actor to win an Oscar for Acting
Sidney Poitier: The Bahamian-American actor was the first black and Bahamian actor to receive the Best Actor Award in 1963 for his role in the film Lilies of the Field.
10. The First Black Female to win Best Actress
Halle Berry: To date the only colored woman to have the honor of receiving the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the 2001 film Monster’s Ball. In the 2000s she was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
11. The First Black Actress to win an Oscar
Hattie McDaniel: Gone With the Wind produced the first African-American person to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress: Hattie McDaniel, for her role as ‘mammy’ in the 1939 film.
12. The First Black Filmmaker to win Best Picture
Steve McQueen: The English film director who directed and produced 12 Years a Slave, the 2013 historical drama which was an adaptation of the slave memories of 1853, was the first black filmmaker to win the Best Film Award.
13. The First Black Actress to win an Oscar on their Film Acting Debut
Jennifer Hudson: One of the finalists in Season 3 of American Idol, Hudson was the first black actress to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her debut role: as Effie White in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.
14. The First Year in which 2 Black Actors or Actresses won Oscars for Acting
2002: This honor belongs to the 74th Academy Awards in 2002 when Denzel Washington was named Best Actor for Training Day and Halle Berry was named Best Actress for Monster’s Ball.
15. The First Black Writer to win an Oscar for Screenwriting
Geoffrey Shawn Fletcher: For the film Precious, based on the 2009 Sapphire novel Push, Fletcher became the first black writer to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
16. The First Asian Actress to win an Oscar
Miyoshi Umeki: Umeki, the Japanese-born, naturalized-American actress, was the first Asian actress to receive an Oscar. She won Best Supporting Actress for her roll as Katsumi in the film Sayonara.
17. The First Australian Actress to win Best Actress
Nicole Kidman: The US-born Australian actress was the first Australian actress to receive the Best Actress award for her performance in the 2002 film The Hour. Kidman’s performance as Virginia Woolf was critically acclaimed.
18. The First Australian Actor to win Best Actor
Peter Finch: The “crazy” TV presenter Howard Beale from the film Network was the first Australian to win an Oscar for Best Actor. He was also the first Australian to win an Oscar posthumously.
19. The First Indian to win an Oscar in any Music Category
A. R. Rahman and Gulzar: Rahman & Gulzar won the best original song “Jai Ho” for the film Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. Rahman also won Best Original Music for the same film.
20. The First Italian Actor to win Best Actor
Roberto Benigni: The man with many hats, Roberto was co-author, director, and actor for the 1998 film Life Is Beautiful and was the first Italian to win an Oscar for Best Actor. The film also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.